Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract The objective of this study was to examine the effects of prolonged exposure to hypobaric hypoxic condition, physical training and their combination on collagen type I, III and IV gene expression in the ventricles and atria of rat heart. Male rats were assigned to four groups: normobaric sedentary (NS) and trained (NT), and hypobaric sedentary (HS) and trained (HT). Exposure to and treadmill running training in hypobaric condition were carried out in a hypobaric chamber (770–740 mbar, 2250–2550 m). Experimental periods were 10, 21 and 56 days; the groups of 91 days served as recovery groups from experimental settings of 56 days. Exposure to hypobaric condition as such and in combination with endurance training for 10 days increased right ventricular weigth-to-body weight ratio (RV/BW) by 26% (p〈0.001) and 23% (p〈0.01), respectively, when compared to 10NS. RV/BW was significantly increased also in 21HT and 56HT. Left ventricular weight-to-body weight ratio was 13% (p〈0.01) and 14% (p〈0.01) higher in 21HT and 56HT, respectively, than in the respective NS. Right ventricular collagen type III mRNA level was 33% (p=0.065) and 38% (p〈0.01) higher in 10HT than in 10NS and 10NT, respectively. Right ventricular collagen type IV mRNA level was 29% (p〈0.001) higher in 10HT than in 10NS. Relatively slight left ventricular hypertrophy was not associated with significant changes in collagen mRNA levels. Decreased left ventricular subepicardial prolyl 4-hydroxylase activity in 10HS and 10HT suggests transient corresponding decrease in the rate of collagen synthesis. This study shows that combination of endurance training and moderate hypobaric hypoxic condition leads to increased right ventricular collagen type III and IV gene expression associated with right ventricular hypertrophy.
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